DEFY gymnasts have best showing ever

READFIELD — Six-year-old Riley Crowley of the Down East Family YMCA gymnastics team placed first in two events and was named an all-around champion at Level 4 in last weekend’s 2013 Northeast Regional YMCA Gymnastics Championships.

Riley placed first on vault and floor and second on bars and beam, placing first all-around by more than a full point.

“At the state championships two weeks ago, Riley took second place by a mere .025,” said coach Doug Springer of Springers Gymnastics Center.

“She really got in the gym and worked so hard, and it showed. Sunday was her highest all-around score all season. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Nineteen DEFY girls competed against more than 20 teams from seven states — nearly 900 athletes — at the three-day meet hosted by the Waterville YMCA.

“It was a very long weekend but a great end to a long season,” said Springer.

DEFY gymnasts had a host of accomplishments at the tournament.

Level 4

Kasja Brown Morrison was second on floor, fifth on beam and fifth all-around at age 11.

Syra Gutow was fourth and Jialan Deal sixth on vault at age 10.

Ellie Kane was sixth on vault for age 8B.

Eleanor Tyne was sixth on vault for age 8A.

Level 5

Gilly Rice was second on floor and bars, fourth on vault, fifth on beam and second all-around at age 9.

Eleanor Bannerman was fourth on floor and fifth on beam at age 11A.

Maddie Nida was third on floor, fourth on bars and beam, fifth on vault and third all-around for age 11B.

Olivia Robidoux was fifth on floor and sixth on bars for age 12.

Level 6

Katherine McKee was second on floor, fifth on vault, sixth on beam and fifth all-around for ages 8-10.

Paige Sawyer was fourth on vault and sixth all-around at ages 8-10.

Sarah Danby was fourth on vault, fifth on beam and sixth on floor at age 11.

Level 8

Ellie Mason was floor champion for ages 15 and over.

Excel Platinum

Natalie Klaver was third on floor for ages 14-15.

The DEFY Level 6 team of McKee, Sawyer and Danby placed fifth among 14 teams and tops among Maine teams.

The Level 5 team of Rice, Robidoux, Bannerman, Nida and Anna Brown finished seventh among 21 teams.

This was the first time any DEFY team has placed among the top 10 at regional competiton, said Springer.

Other DEFY girls who qualified for the regional tournament were Olivia West and Dezirae Zaman at Level 4, and Briana Clark at Level 7.

“We have never had so many kids qualify for this meet, and we were very proud to take them all,” said Springer. “In such a big meet, to qualify if an achievement in and of itself, and to place on the podium is an incredible accomplishment.

“To win? Well, we have had a few gymnasts who have come close. Until Sunday.

“These girls have done an incredible job this year, start to finish,” said the coach. “It has been such an incredible year for us here at Springers, and we are so grateful for the support from the YMCA, our parents and the entire community. We can’t wait for next season!”

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